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Public vote set on legalizing booze on Pine Ridge

PINE RIDGE (AP) -- The Oglala Sioux Tribe Election Commission has scheduled a vote on legalizing alcohol on the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The special election is set for Tuesday, Aug. 13.

The Tribal Council in June approved a public referendum on whether to legalize alcohol on the southern South Dakota reservation, where residents sneak in beer and liquor from nearby towns such as Whiteclay, Neb., and alcoholism is rampant.

Federal law bans the sale of alcohol on American Indian reservations unless a tribal council allows it. Previous efforts to legalize alcohol on the Pine Ridge reservation have failed.